DIARY 12/12/13

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Suddenly, I realise how busy the past couple of months have been, touring, completing promotion-duties and getting through myriad personal commitments, all told, and I haven't described a moment of it.

I leave on an early flight tomorrow for warmer climes to visit close family, so there won't be a great deal of words forthcoming right now.

Highlights shine as beacons, as always: Paul Horton's exhibition of 60+ new works at Birmingham Museum of Art (stunning); Finnsnes audience in north Norway (yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak - slurp, slurp, slurp - yak, yak, yak yak, yak, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Never again); Tromsa, also in north Norway (fabulous. Was it really only a clutch of miles distant from Finnsnes? Felt like we were on a different planet!); three fine days alone in a great hotel in Oslo, playing and chatting Live on NRK with the wonderful legend that is Finn Bjelke (always memorable); Drammen, in south Norway (a joy to play to serious music lovers who applauded each solo and most improvisations); Haugesund (special in lots of ways - more on that later, but there is a sweet house on a cool fjord with a classic yacht moored alongside its private pier where I might just stay to record an album of new songs next Spring); a UK Tour with a band who are playing out of their skins, and audiences whose respect and support never ceases to fill me with pride and humility; and more, much more.

I took a while to wind down after the playing finished - but much more was in the diary, like meetings re the Manchester show in April and the three added shows, promoted by Kennedy Street, not me and Comeuppance! My friend the decorator has been re-arranging the kitchen in many ways for Mrs Harley, and as a like-minded bird watcher of some knowledge, we have been spending too much time applauding the magical shows the acrobats have been putting on in a near-constant display of feeding and phitting from branch to branch. The tits, great, blue and coal, the robins, blackbirds, the pair of flashy, narcissistic magpies, the great spotted woodpecker who was born and bred here - all brought great entertainment to Den and me. Eventually, I would sidle off, back to the grand piano at which I am writing hour after hour, and he would return to the job at hand.

The garden looks busy and beautiful when the birds are there. The kitchen looks good, too.

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Andy Wood
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written by Andy Wood , December 12, 2013

Tremendous log!So looking forward to the new album and the lyrics and the poetry that are guaranteed.It's just over a year since Mum past on two days after the Symphony hall .That night was so special in so many ways and will remain staunchly in my soul and has seen me through this past year.I have witnessed many a SH & CR gig from big venues to Portmeirion down the road from me and the expertise and dedication never cease to amaze.A joy, an inspiration and from a solely and personal perspective, long may it blossom.

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jo humphries
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written by jo humphries , December 13, 2013

Thank you for the diary.
On this side of the street, Im sure I will not be alone in saying how busy "we" have all been too, following the music around the country this autumn. Some great times had, with amazing people and its not over yet... the northern buzz awaits.
Each show has on many occasions for me outplayed the last.
Bilston stands out or was it The Stables? .Ummm.
Our decorator/plasterer is a keen"twitcher" and has delighted in imparting his knowledge each (ciggie) break (and there were a few).. The feet of the woodpecker are special due to the claw position etc ...Thankfully he didnt follow up on the phoned messages to head to far flung places to find Russian finches blown off course and has done a sterling job with the bedroom.
Liking the idea of the yacht and lake! very inspirational indeed.

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John Offord
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written by John Offord , December 13, 2013

Thanks for the LIve in Birmingham CD and DVD. Brought back memories of the good old days.
Please continue to make music. You have a great band.
Have a good Christmas and a successful 2014

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Cheri McGehee
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written by Cheri McGehee , December 13, 2013

Steve, the set list this year was the best I've ever seen in the last three years that I've travelled to see you. You just keep getting better and better. I don't know how you will top this year, but I'm sure you'll come up with something. smilies/smiley.gif Thank you for filling us with joy as the holiday season approaches.

I'm so excited to hear you will be recording again! Can't wait to hear what you will come up with next.

Love, Cheri

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Michael Carraway
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written by Michael Carraway , December 18, 2013

great read, as usual, Steve. Only wish my life was as exciting as yours!!
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